Sunday, June 21, 2015

Handmade By Machines 2015

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A year has passed since the 2014 Handmade By Machines show at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and this year bigger and better than ever. A show about digital manufacture for the jewellery industry, focusing on the work done by the tutors and students at the four Scottish colleges offering jewellery courses and, for the first time, work by staff and students at London's private jewellery school, Holt's Academy.

The standard of the work was higher than ever, which is encouraging, indicating that the people who are completing their courses and entering the industry are better-positioned than ever to deal with the massive changes which are sweeping through the jewellery industry specifically and the product-design world generally.

The range of technologies on show is as one would expect, laser-cutting, SLS in a variety of materials including metal, SLA which has then been set, cast, formed and used directly as product... There were so many entrants in the show and curator, Karen-Ann Dicken, has taken the admirable approach of mixing up the work of the different colleges and further mixing the work of tutors in with that of students, thus my photographs don't really have any details available on them. Anyone wishing to find the CVs of the makers from the photographs, can see the biography lists here.

Handmade By Machines - 2015 - 1

Handmade By Machines - 2015 - 4

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A sucker for a good gimmick, I was especially taken with the "Train-Track" Rings...

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The train moves and there is a video here.

This is a small selection of the work. More can be seen on my Flickr photostream.

Part of the opening day was a symposium about digital manufacture with five speakers, of whom I was one (the last). Normally I would hate going last, but the talks before me were all interesting and relevant and so the audience weren't bored! First up was organiser, Karen, talking about something dear to my heart - the continued importance of the paper-and-pencil sketchbook practice as an element of digital design:

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Next up was an associate of many years' standing, Anne-Marie Shilito who was talking about her amazing, inexpensive, haptic modelling system:

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We bought a copy of this, along with the haptic modelling device to go with it, had a hard-disk failure and never got round to re-establishing the use of the programme but as the improved v.3 software is now available, this is definitely a project for the start of next term. Have a look at the software and system - Anarkik3D.

Jack Meyer of Holt's Academy in London presented a talk about the changes in the jewellery industry brought about by CAD/CAM.

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Largely about the decline of the traditional approaches to buying and selling - witness the closure of Electrum and Lesley Craze - and the rise of new forms of buying.

After the interval came Katharine Childs, who spoke about her experiments with "Smart Materials":

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These materials change in response to stimulus (heat, light, electricity) and then return to their original form. I loved her samples!

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Then it was my turn, talking about the way in which I integrate digital manufacture into my own practice, especially in terms of the difficulties of using found objects and reclaimed materials with digital processes.

It was also the first outing of my Tectonic seersucker summer suit...

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After this came the reception and the official opening of the show.

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Handmade By Machines runs at The Lighthouse in Glasgow until 13th July.

Almost time to pack up the workshops for the summer and I've been finishing off some stock items to take with me to Brighton for delivery to Cursley & Bond in Folkestone early in July.

Bring On The Dancing Horses - 3
"Bring on the Dancing Horses" - Bangle made from discarded stainless-steel bridle bit, silver, tourmalines and lapis lazuli.
Dungeness Works Iolite-Iron Earring Trio - 1
Earring trio made from iolite and corroded nails found on the beach at Dungeness in Kent.
La Forchetta - 2
Pendant made from a rusted fork found at a flea-market in Turin and set with emerald and rhodolite garnet.
Son Of King - Post-Apocalyptic Cocktail Ring - 1
"Son of King" - Post-Apocalyptic Cocktail Ring made from found, corroded hex nut (a gift from Al Blair!), silver, prehnite and rhodolite garnets.